This was our second time doing Mickey's not-so-scary Halloween party. We decided to it again because we had a great time doing it last year. Unfortunately, this year wasn't as good as for us. The day of our party was on September 14th 2018, around the same time as last year.
Firstly, regular guests must now leave the park at 6pm rather than the party start time at 7pm. Which means that by the time 7pm hits, most of the guests not staying for the party would have been removed from the parks, rather than them starting to leave at that time, which was nice.
As always the party goers are funnelled over to the right to collect your bags and starter candy. This year it seems you got a big bag of full sized candy bars to start off with, which was great. We headed through and over to Tomorrowland and did the Peoplemover while the last of the guests were exiting from the parks.
We decided to head over to Casey's to have get some "real" food before we started filling our stomaches with sugar. The Mac 'n' cheese hot dogs are so good!
As sun started to go down, the spooky atmosphere begins.
There were a few new additions this year. Firstly, the teacups had new lighting which I thought was really great. I didn't go on it because they make me sick, but I enjoyed watching it.
Space Mountain was running with the lights completely turned off, and I have to say, it was amazing! I have been on Space Mountain enough to sort of know the route through the tracks, but even with that knowledge in the complete dark, some turns and dips took me by surprise. Sadly, towards the end of our ride the Peoplemover must have broken down because all the lights around the Peoplemover track were turned on, but I enjoyed the darkness while it lasted.
There was a new dance section at the Circus area which was cool for kids, and was very quiet. Pirates Of The Caribbean added a Gunpowder Pete storyline, which in my opinion was stupid and annoying. There was a guy in the queue area just shouting stuff about Gunpowder Pete, and another just before you board holding a scroll and shouting some more stuff. Gunpowder Pete is actually on the ride towards the end, on one of the bridges, again he's shouting something but you can't really hear him. I just found it took away from the already fantastic attraction and just added an annoyance. I think it's great that Disney try extra twists to current attractions on events like these, but the Gunpowder Pete addition just fell flat for me.
Once again, the overall atmosphere of the park was great. My favourite area was around the Haunted Mansion where they light up the tombstones and have smoke machines running. The ride wait times were not terrible. No more than 20-30 minutes on most rides (excluding Peter Pan and Dwarfs when it was up). Candy lines were long, but you were never in them for more than 5 minutes, they went through people rather quickly.
This year's disappointment mainly came from crowd numbers. Seven Dwarfs was down half the night (which of course is a good amount of people no longer waiting for that doing other things). Meet and greets were longer than they were last year. It was over 1 hour 20 minutes to meet the Seven Dwarfs for example. That's nearly a quarter your party time.
We couldn't get to central Plaza to watch Hallowishes because it was just too crowded. So we watched a part of it from Frontierland. The same goes for the both Parades, we tried to find a spot earlier than we did last year and there was just no standing room anywhere, so we missed it.
I know it depends on the cast member, but we really didn't get much candy per trick-or-treat this year. We'd only get 2 or 3 bags at the best of times, and when coming off space mountain, the cast member grabbed one little bag of skittles to give to me. Whether they've been told to give out less or we were just unlucky, I don't know.
Cast members who we talked to after the party (including Minnie Van drivers) were echoing the same thoughts. Simply saying it's too busy, and even more so on Friday nights and weekends.
After the party I did have the general attitude of "i'm over it" and have no desire to do it again. Which is a shame but the party has great potential and is a good time. By no means is it possible - nor should it - to do everything, but this year just felt like we couldn't do anything because anything we wanted to do would use up such a huge chunk of party time, which really wasn't the case last year.
Whether Disney is cramming more people into these parties or we were just lucky last time not having a night that was too crowded, I don't know. I wouldn't do another party night if the crowds were at this level again, it is simply isn't worth it.
Saying that, if we are there next September again we will most likely give it one more chance and go on an earlier weekday, which will determine whether or not we will spend the money to do it again in the future.
Overall, Mickey's not-so-scary Halloween Party is a hard-ticketed event that is generally worth doing if you haven't done so already. The atmosphere of Magic Kingdom is something that you don't get to experience at any other time, and it's great if you have kids who can trick or treat safely. If you want to do it, or looking to do it again, you want to avoid the first and last couple weeks of the party and please do it earlier in the week avoiding Friday's and weekends at all costs. We've had readers tell us they have been this time and had a great time with acceptable crowds, so it is just a lottery of whether you get a good night or not!
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